OU football: Spencer Rattler is a Heisman contender but Sooners QB depth behind him important
NORMAN — For the first time in Lincoln Riley’s tenure at OU, there were some significant growing pains at quarterback in 2020.
But Spencer Rattler overcame those struggles to turn in a stellar redshirt freshman season — throwing for 3,031 yards and 28 touchdowns with seven interceptions.
The Oklahoman’s series of position looks at the Sooners continues with a look at OU’s quarterbacks in 2021:
Season rewind: After an as-close-to-perfect-as-could-be opener, Rattler hit some speed bumps with late interceptions against Kansas State and Iowa State that ended the possibility of late OU comebacks.
Then Rattler’s first start against Texas went sideways with a couple of early turnovers, leading Riley to insert Tanner Mordecai.
But Rattler came back in the second half of that game, then looked like a much more mature quarterback the rest of the way.
His decision-making improved, avoiding much in the way of careless interceptions, while still flashing the incredible arm strength that made him the top quarterback of the 2019 class.
Who’s out: Tanner Mordecai, Chandler Morris
Who’s in: Micah Bowens, Caleb Williams, *-Ben Harris, *-Ralph Rucker (*-preferred walk-ons)
The take: Rattler enters 2021 as the Heisman Trophy favorite, no surprise given Riley’s track record with quarterbacks and Rattler’s development throughout his freshman year.
Phenom Caleb Williams figures to redshirt but is likely to serve as the backup, especially if Rattler were to go down with an injury.
Bowens, who spent last season at Penn State though he never saw game action, also adds more depth after Mordecai transferred to SMU and Morris to TCU after the season. The addition to Bowens was an important one to help add depth at the position.
Projected depth chart
Spencer Rattler, RFr.., 6-1, 205
Caleb Williams, Fr., 6-2, 210
Micah Bowens, Fr., 5-11, 196